The effects of gravity are reduced in the water because of the water’s buoyancy. Water pushes you upward and supports some of your body weight.
The deeper you are in the water, the greater the amount of your body weight that is supported. In general, the water will support
- 50% of your body weight when you are submerged up to your waist.
- 65-75% of your body weight when you are submerged up to your chest.
- 90% of your body weight when you are submerged up to your neck.
Because the water supports some of your body weight, it takes some of the stress off your legs and joints. This can reduce your risk of joint and impact-related injuries.
Water is like a piece of strength training equipment. It provides a natural resistance for your body to move against.
You can control the amount of resistance by adjusting speed and surface area:
- Speed – The faster you move in the water, the more resistance you will feel.
- Surface area – The larger the surface area you move through the water (for example, a straight leg vs. a bent leg), the more resistance you will feel.
You can do almost anything in the water that you can on land. Many fitness facilities with pools offer:
You may even find that you can do more exercises in the water than on land. For example:
- You may be able to jog in waist-deep water (50% of your body weight is supported), when it would be too painful for your joints to jog on land.
- You may be able to do water yoga or Pilates when it would be too difficult to get up and down off the floor in a land-based class.
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FitnessforWeightLoss.com was created by Stephanie Averkamp, a recognized health and fitness professional and sole-author of the content on this website. Stephanie's approach to weight loss emphasizes making small, realistic, and permanent lifestyle changes. Read more...
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